A Cornish artist has been shortlisted in a national competition revealing how businesses have been faring during lockdown.
Elisa Trueman from Callington entered the PopUp Business School Summer Photo Challenge with a picture of one of her artworks; a painting of the Tamar Bridges between Plymouth and Saltash.
Trueman said: “I only started my business about a year ago. As a teen, I was accepted to study art at Southampton, but ended up doing a brief stint in the forces, instead. I thought I could never be an artist and instead travelled and had a career and family.
“A couple of years ago, I was ‘doodling’ pictures for my grandkids and my daughter said I should sell them. I didn’t think my Spider-Man would be my best work, but it made me want to paint again, and I spent time getting back into art practising techniques. I made a Facebook site and my work colleagues started to commission paintings.
“It has grown from there, I started selling in online galleries and eBay and this year built my own website. I have a Facebook site and run competitions on there occasionally for people to win a painting which I love doing.
“I was asked to take some of my work to a gallery in Plymouth. Then coronavirus hit, which put a stop to that. Initially, I went from sales of four or five paintings a month to far fewer. Understandable, given the huge effect on people’s jobs and finances. However, I am fortunate as, after a couple of weeks, the sales picked up again.
“My art has changed as I’ve gone from abstract flowers to doing more beaches and harbour villages, which seem really popular. My next plan is to move into merchandise like tea towels and mugs with my designs on them. I’d really love to grow my business.”
PopUp Business School, which helps people from all walks of life to launch their own businesses, is asking people across the UK to take a photograph which illustrates their business, or business idea, with the chance to win up to £200.
CEO Simon Paine said: “Business has changed so much in the past few months, we thought it’d be really interesting to get a glimpse into their world.
“We know many businesses have moved their operations online and are interacting and serving customers in a different way.
“However, due to lockdown, this has all been happening behind closed doors. We’ve seen far less of one another so it’s going to be great to take a look inside.”
The competition is open for entries until midnight on August 31. You can find out more and submit your own entry here.